In a world full of comic book movies, it would seem that everyday fans who don’t have any attachment to the source material would get tired of the genre. That is not the case, as each superhero film tops the previous installment at the box office.
It appears to be more challenging for a film of this genre to have a deep intricate story that is narrative based and have fancy special effects. But Captain America: Civil War does just that; it is a near perfect balance between action, deep character moments, and unexpected twists and turns.
Though the film is titled Captain America, the ensemble cast contains members of the past Avengers films. However, the primary focus of the film manages to stay on the titular character.
Picking up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, the world is losing faith in the team due to the amount of destruction their activities leave behind. Enter the Sokovia Accords, government legislation that places the deployment of the Avengers under a UN panel’s jurisdiction. Whether or not to sign this document draws battle lines in the Avengers team, with Avengers joining Captain America or Iron Man’s side. Cap wants to stay independent while Iron Man believes that the Avengers need restriction.
Directed by the Russo brothers, Civil War’s conflict is prominently set up by the first and beginning of the second act of the film. The second and third acts contain possibly the best action sequence in comic book, maybe even action movie history; the airport fight, where team Cap has a standoff against team Iron Man contains dazzling special effects.
The Russo brothers were tasked with introducing two new characters into the Marvel Cinematic Universe: T’Challa/Black Panther and Peter Parker/Spider- Man, whose character rights recently returned to Marvel from Sony. Aspects of their introduction and character moments are deeply imbedded as crucial parts of the plot. Their development over the course of the film gives it a depth not usually seen in comic book movies.
A negative aspect of this film is the antagonist, a character who was supposed to be a psychological villain pulling the strings behind Captain America’s old friend Bucky Barns’ mental instability. Zemo, as he is called, manipulates the world’s view of Banes, which causes Captain America to come to his defense. This defense is an impetus to Captain America and Iron Man’s conflict.
The idea behind Zemo as a villain could have been something special but the execution was not ideal. That said, the lack of a strong villain does not draw away from the film, as the primary conflict is within the Avengers themselves.
Full of deep character moments, plot twists and well directed action, Captain America: Civil War stands out as one of the best comic book movies of all time.